96 Points - Obsidian Reserve Syrah 2013
"One of Waiheke's best producers is on form in an excellent vintage. It has ripe plum, dark berry, licorice, black pepper, wood smoke and attractive, spicy French oak. A bold, concentrated syrah with excellent cellaring potential."
- Bob Campbell MW
We're delighted to have received the latest of Winestate Magazines reviews of our wines. Critically evaluated by one of New Zealand's foremost wine critics, Michael Cooper, this is what he said of our 2013 Reserve Syrah:
Obsidian Reserve Waiheke Island Syrah 2013 ***** [5 stars&91;
Likely to be long-lived, this dark, powerful, concentrated red was matured for a year in French oak casks (40% new). Sturdy and sweet-fruited, it is still youthful, with dense blackcurrant, plum and black pepper flavours, finely structured tannins, and a long, spicy finish. Best drinking 2018+. $63
The 2015 Bragato awards were held down in the Hawke's Bay. Obsidian claimed Waiheke Island's only Pure Gold with 'The Mayor' Cabernet Franc blend from the 2013 vintage. We typically like to hold our bordeaux blends back for a few years so that you can enjoy them in their prime.
Its not surprising that the 2010 reds have turned heads and drawn some of the highest points we have even scored from Bob Campbell MW in Gourmet Traveller Wines.
98 Points - 2010 The Obsidian
“A cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot and malbec blend. It’s pure and powerful with red and dark fruits plus a touch of spice. It’s long and linear with ethereal texture.” Cellar – 12 years.
97 Points - 2010 Obsidian Syrah
“An array of dark-fruit flavours with floral/violet, black pepper, leather, mocha, licorice and many other savoury nuances. A core of sweet fruit is balanced by ripe tannins that promise good cellaring potential but doesn’t stop the wine being drinkable now. Cellar – 10 years.
The good news is the 2010 The Obsidian will go on sale shortly, the bad news is that the 2010 Obsidian Syrah is already sold out.
It is always a pleasure to see your wines in print in prestigous publications such as the Air NZ in flight magazine Kia Ora. September's issue featured The Obsidian 2010 as Bob Campbell MW selection of the top two blends on the market from the 2010 vintage. This is what he had to say..
“A blend of all five "Bordeaux" varieties cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot and malbec. Pure and powerful with a mix of red and dark fruit flavours plus a seasoning of spice. Very impressive red from a consistently top producer and one of Waiheke's best-ever vintages. Great value when compared to similar quality wine from Bordeaux."
Nestled into the heart of the amphitheatre of vines beside a narrow stretch of Pukeko-inhabited wetland, the Obsidian cellar door is covered, yet open to the vines. We will be open Saturday and Sundays from 11am - 4pm until the end of August. Eleven wines can be sampled - two whites (including the new 2012 Obsidian Chardonnay and Viognier) and a spectrum of lighter to full-bodied reds. We enjoy hosting visitors from all over the world in this relaxed but informative tasting room.
Obsidian Vineyard's cellar door has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 per cent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.
To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travellers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.
“We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive reviews on TripAdvisor.” said Janet Spilman.
Our Club members were the first to receive wines created using our revised labels, which feature only the Obsidian brand name. The Weeping Sands name, inspired by our place of Onetangi, and very strongly linked to our vineyard, is being withdrawn and gradually replaced by Obsidian. Our decision to change was not made lightly, but it helps the winery focus on its core brand name, and simplifies promotion and marketing. The company has registered and will retain exclusive use of its alternate brand names including Weeping Sands, Black Glass and Yellow Clay Road for other potential applications. The traditional - existing Obsidian label will now become Obsidian Reserve, to include a series of five wines: "The Obsidian", "The Mayor", Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier. Design changes are evolutionary and the new labels will be recognisable as Obsidian when seen alongside the old labels.
Syrah expert Geoff Kelly was very impressed by the quality of New Zealand Syrah during the Super 14 Syrah tasting at Eden Park. Kelly gave special mention to Obsidian Syrah in his subsequent publication “A syrah ripening curve in New Zealand wine terms”- World of Fine Wine magazine, Issue 34, 2011.
According to Kelly, the quality of the 2008 Obsidian Syrah can be calibrated on the scale of the best St Joseph and Hermitage syrahs and Obsidian is among the finest syrahs made on Waiheke Island.
Obsidian Syrah 2008 (18.5+/20 points)
"Ruby, carmine and velvet; fractionally the deepest wine in the tasting. The bouquet on this wine is pinpoint syrah taken to the optimal stage of ripeness, where soft wallflower florals are clearly retained and classical cassis berry is just grading into dark plum. The palate is textbook syrah, the berry definition of cassis and a hint of blueberry is clear..........This is a great syrah and for Waiheke Island the absolute benchmark wine so far, because it's completely free of Brett- a joy! Cellar 5-15 years"
Obsidian Syrah 2009 (18+/20 points)
"Ruby, carmine, and velvet; much the same depth as the 2008.....On the palate, the idea grows, the entire riper end of the ripening spectrum from deepest cassis, blueberry, bottled Black Doris plum, and even a hint of boysenberry being tastable. This wine has only just been bottled and was offered as a preview for interest. I'm sure that once it has settled down, it will speak much more elegantly at release mid 2011. Cellar 5-15 years, maybe more."
Weeping Sands Syrah 2009
"On the palate, the berry richness is excellent, there being less oak than the Obsidian Reserve version - and perhaps a thought of jamminess.....It is a delicate balance in a warm season, keeping New Zealand's Syrah on the right side of the line and not straying into shiraz territory. Cellar 3-10 years"
Geoff Kelly, The World Of Fine Wine, Issue 34, 2011
Obsidian, Miro and The Hay Paddock are proud to have produced multiple trophy-winning wines in recent years, and have created the Onetangi Wine “Trophy Trail”. You can enter a beautiful private walkway through olive groves and vines in the heart of the Onetangi valley. This walk connects together these three neighbouring vineyards. The walk takes approximately 30 minutes.
Entry to the walk is at one of the three wineries:
The Hay Paddock - entry and parking at 451B Seaview Road
Miro – entry and parking at 3 Brown Road, off Seaview Road
Obsidian – entry and parking at 22 Te Makiri Road, off Seaview Road
Details of the walk
You must respect the land and surrounds as you will be on private property throughout the trail – do not stray from the marked pathway. Vineyards are working farm environments, and you are asked to respect grapevines, plants, machinery and netting. Listen and watch out for tractors, sprayers, mowers, farm bikes or any other vehicles.
Disclaimer– the vineyards inform any participant in this walk that they do so entirely at their own risk and the vineyards accept no responsibility for any injury which may occur along the walkway.
Purchasing of wine your wine can be purchased and consolidated amongst the 3 vineyards. We will package it all together for you and ship it to your home or office address. Payment should be made for each wine as you purchase along the way; simply notify the cellar staff of your previous purchases at the final stop. Any combination of bottles is acceptable.
Onetangi Beach – walk to a world class beach in 15 minutes. From Seaview road turn into 7th Avenue. There are two cafes along the beach, “The Beach Front” & “Charlie Farleys”. The Fullers ferry bus stops along The Strand.
Onetangi Road – by following the directional arrow on the map to “Te Motu” and “Stonyridge” you can extend your vineyard walk, and connect through to Onetangi Road, where there is a Fullers bus stop and Hopper bus stop.
With the euphoria of the Rugby World Cup finally ebbing, please excuse an indulgent retrospective analogy.
In New Zealand's world of wine there are a handful of stars that have an international reputation, a number that hover beneath the radar of critical acclaim, and then there's the rest who do a fine job but have yet to establish themselves as major players.
That reliable, unflashy but always dependable "lock of ages" Brad Thorn is a perfect example of someone who you'd always love to have in your team because he just gets on with it and does the business. He may not be top-of-mind, but then he was always too busy doing the often-unseen work in the engine room.
Waiheke Island's Obsidian Vineyard is one of the Brad Thorns of our wine industry. Solid and dependable, with the ability to surprise but usually quite happy with a "no bugles, no drums" approach to the art of producing fine wine.
The quiet, gentlemanly Lindsay Spilman spearheads this enterprise and is a close neighbour to Waiheke's prestigious Onetangi Stonyridge vineyard and exciting new syrah specialists, The Hay Paddock.
Spilman need not fear, his portfolio of wines has been garnering a loyal following and numerous awards since 1997 and Obsidian's reputation lends significant weight to the rise of Waiheke's reputation as a serious producer of premium wines.
Spilman's interest in wine was developed while studying at university and moonlighting as a wine waiter. Overseas travel whetted his appetite and he was greatly influenced by some of the world's prestigious wine regions, especially Bordeaux and Tuscany.
The flagship Obsidian Bordeaux blend is a personal favourite and will certainly reward careful cellaring. There's a smart northern Rhone-style syrah and aromatic chardonnay with small volumes of tempranillo thrown in for good measure. Weeping Sands is the second label and some real bargains are to be found here; the Montepulciano has a loyal enthusiastic following, look for more Bordeaux blends and a lovely standalone merlot, a pinot gris and a sure-to-please-over-summer, merlot-based rosé.
2010 Obsidian Chardonnay, $35-36
Nothing timid about this wine, it has a no-holds-barred style with heaps of character. Hazelnut, peach and brioche flavours leap out of the glass and the palate is rich and full with loads of texture and weight. A clean, lingering citrus finish.
2010 Weeping Sands, $35
Montepulciano A touch of Tuscany thousands of kilometres from Italy, this wine has lovely flavours of ripe plums, mixed herbs and lashings of oak with rich textured tannins. Fleshy and fulsome, it would be great with pasta and red meat.
By John Hawkesby, Canvas Magazine, NZ Herald, 20 November 2011
Some guidance as to the “anticipated maturity” of our wines.
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